NBA PM: Pau Gasol And The Chicago Bulls?
Los Angeles Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak was clear in exit interviews, saying he expects to make significant changes to the roster that has now been eliminated in the second round for two seasons in a row. Given the current make-up of the team, there are only three players who could be moved in any kind of “substantial” trade, namely Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol.
There is absolutely no chance that Bryant is going anywhere, and Jim Buss is almost equally adamant that Bynum is also staying put. That only leaves Gasol, who has already been traded by the Lakers once, and was nearly traded again at the trade deadline. The fact that Bryant frequently took issue with Gasol during the playoffs and Mike Brown’s insistence on playing Gasol away from the basket only seem to reinforce the idea that Gasol’s days in LA are probably over.
The Houston Rockets have been actively involved in trying to land Gasol, both as part of the failed Chris Paul trade back in December and as part of a separate deal nearer to the deadline, but Houston’s unwillingness to include Kyle Lowry in a trade have thus far thwarted their attempts to land Gasol.
If NBA.com’s Sam Smith has his way, the Chicago Bulls will get involved in the discussion.
Smith suggests that an offer revolving around Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton might be enough to get something done with the Lakers, and further suggests that the Bulls might then opt to move Joakim Noah in an effort to shore up the backcourt. While that makes sense on some level, it’s not consistent with what we’re hearing out of Chicago.
The Bulls don’t anticipate any major moves, and their interest in Gasol extended only as far as the Lakers were interested in taking Carlos Boozer back in the deal . . .which was never something the Lakers were willing to do.
It will be interesting to see what the Bulls do in light of the extended nature of Derek Rose’s injury. The temptation to make a major roster move will grow, especially as players like Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala and Kevin Martin all likely hit the market in July (if not on draft night). Still, a major roster move is not what the Bulls are currently talking about internally.
A trade for Pau Gasol would certainly represent a major roster overhaul.
NBA Draft: Xavier’s Kenny Frease
Xavier center Kenny Frease talks about working out with John Lucas in hopes of grabbing a spot in the NBA draft, how former Xavier players have helped his game, what people don’t know about him that will help his draft stock and more in this exclusive interview!
The Houston Rockets got a bit of a shock over the weekend when worked came out that point guard Kyle Lowry had reportedly asked for a trade.
“I don’t think ( head coach Kevin McHale and I can co-exist),” Lowry told Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “I honestly think it would be tough. Things have to be addressed. The situation would have to be addressed. If things aren’t addressed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved.”
That was news to McHale.
“That’s very surprising,” McHale said. “I didn’t think we had too much of a problem coexisting this year. Everybody has a little beef every once in a while. I didn’t feel like (there were problems). He apparently did.”
The thing to know about Lowry is that he is a fierce competitor, and he wants to win more than anything else. The fact that the Rockets have been wallowing in mediocrity for the last few seasons grates on Lowry, who would love to be competing for a championship. To be clear, he didn’t ask for a trade; rather, he stated what just about every other player in Houston feels, which is that it’s time to get busy winning or get busy blowing up the team. That’s what he told HOOPSWORLD in clarifying his comments to the Chronicle.
The Rockets have tough decisions to make this summer, and really only two ways to move forward. They either need to trade off their vets for young players and draft picks and rebuild hard-core, or they need to go all-in for Dwight Howard and finally have the franchise player they’ve been missing since Yao Ming got hurt and retired. Staying where they are, as a middle-of-the-pack team that never quite makes the playoffs is only going to further frustrate their veterans and disenfranchise their fans.
That’s what Kyle Lowry was talking about.
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